Get to Know Helical Piles

What is a helical pile and how does it work?

What is a helical pile and how does it work?

Helical piles are an increasingly popular and remarkably effective deep foundation option.

Each helical pile is composed of a steel pipe shaft with a 45° cut at the bottom and one or more formed helical plates welded outside. Helical piles deliver benefits over competing foundation systems including reduced environmental footprint, speed of installation and applications within diverse soil and environmental conditions.

Benefits of Helical Piles vs. Driven and Concrete

True Helix

True Helix

The true helix on the helical pile allows it to be turned into the ground with impressive speed and accuracy and without the noise and vibrations associated with a pile driver. The addition of the helix also dramatically increases bearing capacity and pull-out resistance.

True Helix vs. Duckbill

The formation and spacing of true helixes minimize soil disturbance. Other helixes are pulled, not pressed into shape creating a “duckbill” appearance. Their torque to  capacity relationship is negatively affected by the augering affect of the helix shape.

Features True Helix Duckbill
More accurate torque readings during installation because there is always full contact with the underside of helix as it advances into the ground.
Higher load capacity because there is more shaft friction due to less soil disturbance.
When multiple helixes are needed on a pile, they follow the same path created by the lead helix.
Minimized ground disturbance greatly reduces pile settling and the possibility of surface water being introduced next to the pile shaft.

How are helical piles changing your industry?

Almita is a world leader in helical pile foundations.  We are part of a worldwide network of helical foundation providers and have adapted helical piles for many industries.  Contact us to see if there is a helical pile solution that will give you a competitive advantage in your industry!  We love a challenge!

Creative Applications of helical piles

We love to do what others can’t!  We can work in confined spaces, low overhead conditions and from various installation platforms.  We have worked in water, on steep slopes, and even indoors.  Contact us to see if we have a solution for your challenge!

​​​​​​​Leading the industry through innovation for over 25 years

Custom Installation Equipment

Almita’s diverse fleet of custom installation equipment allows access to areas with difficult terrain, including those with soft soils and steep grades where conventional driving equipment or concrete pile rigs cannot be used.

Custom Installation Equipment

True Helix Design

Almita's true helix design maximizes the strength of foundations while minimizing soil displacement during installation.

True Helix Design

Always Innovating

Almita constantly seeks new ways to create helical pile solutions. Almita’s ground-breaking innovations have increased the demand for helical pile foundations and will pave the future for helical pile design, fabrication and installation.

Patented Tools & Techniques

As a result of our research and development, we have patented a mechanical connection for extending piles, avoiding field welding and reducing costs.  We also have a patented testing program to test both skin friction and helix capacity separately.

Studies & Reports

Helical Anchor Test Program (part 2) - Instrumentation, Site Characterization, and Installation

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Helical Anchor Test Program (part 1) - Field Test Results and Design Implications

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Load Test Results of Helical Piles vs. Driven Steel Piles in Ancorage, Alaska

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Pore Pressure Response Induced by Helical Pile Installation

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Long-term Lateral Resistance of Helical Piles vs. Driven Steel Piles

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Helical Pile Load Capacity in Expansive Clay - Residential Underpinning

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Soil Mobilization Affects of Helical Piles Installed in Fine-Grained Soils

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Design and Applications of Helical Piles (Presentation)

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Helical Piles Performance Results for Power Transmission Lines

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Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) Evaluation Report

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Helical Pile Performance in Soft Glacial Deposits for Power Transmission Towers

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Foundation Construction Cost, Schedule, and Risk Comparison of Helical, Driven Steel, and C-I-P Piles

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“See the numbers for yourself.”

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